Bliss, Tasker Howard, GEN

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Last Primary MOS
00G4-Army General Officer (G4)
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1920-1927, Army Garrison Military District of Washington (MDW)
Service Years
1875 - 1927
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This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Bliss, Tasker Howard, GEN USA(Ret).
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Not Specified

Date of Passing
Nov 09, 1930
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
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 Official Badges 

Army Staff Identification US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Tasker Howard Bliss was born on 31 December 1853 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to George Ripley Bliss and Mary Ann (née Raymond) Bliss. He attended Bucknell (then Lewisburg) University for one year before entering the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. At the USMA, he excelled in languages, mathematics and tactics and graduated eighth in his class on 16 June 1875.


Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Artillery and performed routine garrison duties in Georgia and New York. On 14 September 1876 he was appointed to the USMA as an Assistant Professor of French until 1882. While assigned to the USMA, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Bliss married Eleanor (or Eleanora) E. Anderson on 24 May 1882. In late 1882 he was assigned to Fort Mason, California and Fort Monroe, Virginia. Their first child, Eleanor F. was born in January 1884. In 1885 he was an instructor at the Naval War College where he was sent to England, Germany and France to study their military schools. The purpose of the trip was to determine if United States military schools were teaching similar and relevant material. He returned to the United States and on 16 May 1888 he was assigned to be Aide-de-Camp to U.S. Army Commanding General John M. Schofield. A concurrent assignment while Aide-de-Camp was Inspector of Artillery and Small Arms. During this time period, the Blisses' son Edward Goring was born in June 1892.

On 20 December 1892, while Aide-de-Camp, he was promoted to Captain, Staff, Commissary of Subsistence and on 26 September 1895 he was assigned to special duty at the Office of the Secretary of War. On 4 March 1897 he was assigned as the Quartermaster and Commissary at Fort Monroe, Virginia. On 2 July 1897 he was sent to Spain as the Military Attaché to the United States Legation. When war was declared between Spain and the United States, Captain Bliss was ordered to return to the U.S., via Paris, France, on 21 April 1898.

Spanish-American War

On 30 April 1898, Bliss was promoted to Major, Staff, Commissary of Subsistence and on 9 May to Lieutenant Colonel and Chief, Commissary of Subsistence, U.S. Volunteers. Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Bliss was then assigned to the 6th Army Corp as Chief Commissary, 23 May 1898 and then Camp George H. Tomas, in Chickamauga, Georgia until ordered to Santiago, Cuba and then Puerto Rico on 20 July 1898. LTC Bliss arrived in Ponce, Puerto Rico in early August and was appointed as the Chief of Staff, 1st Division, I Army Corps, under Major General James H. Wilson. Concurrent assignments included being a board member to select camp sites in Cuba and Chief Commissary of the I Army Corps.

Time in Cuba

Bliss was ordered to Havana, Cuba on 15 December 1898, as Collector of Customs for the Island of Cuba and the Port of Havana. On 13 June 1899 LTC Bliss received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Volunteers and returned to the Regular Army. While serving as Chief, Collector of Customs for the Island of Cuba and the Port of Havana he was also the President of the Commission to Revise the Cuban Tariff Treaty in 1901 and was appointed to the Army War College Board as Special Envoy to Cuba to negotiate the treaty ratification in November and December 1902. The Treaty was ratified and signed on 17 December 1903.

General Staff (1st tour)

Lieutenant Colonel Bliss was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Regular Army by an Act of Congress under direction of the U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. On 15 August 1903 Brigadier General (BG) Bliss was appointed a member of the General Staff, Chief, 3rd Division and President of the Army War College. In September 1904 he participated in the Manassas Maneuvers in Virginia.

Philippine Islands

On 7 June 1905 BG Bliss was ordered the Philippine Islands to Command the Department of Luzon. On 9 January 1906 he was assigned as Commander of the Department of Mindanao and appointed Governor of the Moro Province. While still Governor of the Moro Province, BG Bliss was ordered to command the Philippine Division on 14 December 1908. He relinquished all Philippine Islands commands on 6 April 1909, and returned to the U.S. after touring China and Manchuria.

General Staff (2nd tour) and Pre-WWI

BG Bliss was assigned to the General Staff and President of the U.S. Army War College, 19 June 1909. On 12 August 1910 he was assigned to Command the Department of California, in San Francisco, California. On 13 August 1911 he was assigned as Commander, Department of the East, Fort Totten, New York and subsequently assigned to Commander, Department of the South, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas on 26 February 1913.

WWI and Paris Peace Conference

On 13 February 1915 BG Bliss was detailed to the General Staff as Assistant Chief of Staff, Army until his promotion to Chief of Staff on 22 September 1917. He was promoted to Major General (MG), U. S. Army on 20 November 1915 and to full General on 6 October 1917. On 17 November 1917 he was assigned as the American Permanent Military Representative, Supreme War Council, concurrent with the U.S. Army Chief of Staff position.

General Bliss was forced to retire due to age limitations, 31 December 1917 but by order of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, was recalled to active duty on 1 January 1918 and sent to Versailles, France, 23 January, to better carry out his duties on the Supreme War Council. He was relieved as U.S. Army Chief of Staff, 19 May 1918 and returned to the grade of Brevet General on 20 May 1918. After the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, on 11 November 1918, General Bliss held two titles, the American Permanent Military Representative, Supreme War Council, and also, Plenipotentiary at the Paris Peace Conference. This assignment was concluded on 10 December 1919.

Post WWI

On 1 May 1920 Bliss was assigned as Governor of the U.S. Soldiers Home, Washington, D.C. He retired from active duty on 1 May 1927. He was reinstated as a full general, retired, on 21 June 1930 and died on 9 November 1930. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.


Bliss was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant-16 June 1875, 1st Lieutenant-ca. November 1881, Captain (Commissary of Subsistence)-20 December 1892, Major (Commissary of Subsistence)-30 April 1898, Lieutenant Colonel (Commissary of Subsistence)-9 May 1898, Lieutenant Colonel (Regular Army)-13 June 1899*, Brigadier General-21 July 1902, Major General-20 November 1915**, General-6 October 1917

Bliss was never commissioned as a colonel. He was promoted to brigadier general from lieutenant colonel by an act of Congress at the President's request.

Bliss was also never commissioned as a lieutenant general. He was appointed a general by the U.S. President under U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 6, § 164.


Edward Goring Bliss was the son of Tasker and Eleanor E. Bliss. Born on 2 June 1892 he graduated from the USMA in 1916 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Engineer Corps. He saw service in Siberia in 1918-1919 and through World War II. He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Eleanor F. Bliss was Tasker H. and Eleanor E. Bliss’ daughter, born in 1885, who attended Bryn Mawr Girls School and later married Adolph Knoff.


The USS Tasker H. Bliss was named for him.

 Awards and decorations 

  • Ord.St.Michele-Giorgio.png Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK)

  • Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Grand Croix Légion d'honneur (France)

  • BEL Kroonorde Grootkruis BAR.svg Grand Cross Order of the Crown (Belgium)

  • Cavaliere SSML BAR.svg Grand Cross Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy)

  • Croce di guerra al valor militare BAR.svg War Cross (Italy)

  • JPN Kyokujitsu-sho 1Class BAR.svg Grand Cordon Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)

  • POL Polonia Restituta Wielki BAR.svg Polonia Restituta (Poland)

  • Medal of Solidarity, 1918 (Panama)

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World War I
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End Year

The United States of America declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917. The U.S. was an independent power and did not officially join the Allies. It closely cooperated with them militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. They played a major role until victory was achieved on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. military. After a slow start in mobilising the economy and labour force, by spring 1918 the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world,[citation needed] although there was substantial public opposition to United States entry into the war.

Although the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, it did not initially declare war on the other Central Powers, a state of affairs that Woodrow Wilson described as an "embarrassing obstacle" in his State of the Union speech.[26] Congress declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on December 17, 1917, but never made declarations of war against the other Central Powers, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire or the various Co-belligerents allied with the central powers, thus the United States remained uninvolved in the military campaigns in central, eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The United States as late as 1917 maintained only a small army, smaller than thirteen of the nations and empires already active in the war. After the passage of the Selective Service Act in 1917, it drafted 2.8 million men into military service. By the summer of 1918 about a million U.S. soldiers had arrived in France, about half of whom eventually saw front-line service; by the Armistice of November 11 approximately 10,000 fresh soldiers were arriving in France daily. In 1917 Congress gave U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. In the end Germany miscalculated the United States' influence on the outcome of the conflict, believing it would be many more months before U.S. troops would arrive and overestimating the effectiveness of U-boats in slowing the American buildup.

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted U.S. units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not to waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. The U.S. rejected the first proposition and accepted the second. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up U.S. units to serve as mere reinforcements for British Empire and French units. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to fight in French divisions. The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, earning a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Séchault.
Impact of US forces on the war

On the battlefields of France in spring 1918, the war-weary Allied armies enthusiastically welcomed the fresh American troops. They arrived at the rate of 10,000 a day, at a time when the Germans were unable to replace their losses. After British Empire, French and Portuguese forces had defeated and turned back the powerful final German offensive (Spring Offensive of March to July, 1918), the Americans played a role in the Allied final offensive (Hundred Days Offensive of August to November). However, many American commanders used the same flawed tactics which the British, French, Germans and others had abandoned early in the war, and so many American offensives were not particularly effective. Pershing continued to commit troops to these full- frontal attacks, resulting in high casualties against experienced veteran German and Austrian-Hungarian units. Nevertheless, the infusion of new and fresh U.S. troops greatly strengthened the Allies' strategic position and boosted morale. The Allies achieved victory over Germany on November 11, 1918 after German morale had collapsed both at home and on the battlefield.
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  1437 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adkison (MOH), Joseph Bernard, Sgt, (1917-1921)
  • Agee, Alfred, PFC, (1918-1919)
  • Agee, Joseph, Cpl, (1917-1919)
  • Alcorn, Floyd R., SFC, (1912-1918)
  • Alexander, Upton, 1st Sgt, (1898-1933)
  • Anderson, Howard, WAG, (1917-1919)
  • Arch, Alexander Louis, Sgt, (1913-1920)
  • Arnold, Clifford Hood, COL, (1910-1945)
  • Baesel, Albert (MOH), 2LT, (1917-1918)
  • Balentine, Herman Dwight, Cpl, (1918-1919)
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